Back in the day, social media marketing was seen as something that was nice to have, rather than as something that was required for businesses to be successful. In those days, a lot of companies dived into social media marketing without any strategy, or they handed it over to an intern and just hoped for the best.
The problem was that it didn’t really work, especially as social networking reached maturity and increasing numbers of people expected brands to be both present and professional. Because of that, brands were faced with two choices: they could either recruit to take on those skillsets in house or they could turn to an agency to get some help.
That’s where this article comes in, because today we’re going to share our top tips for helping you to find a social media marketing agency to help you. Here’s what you need to know.
The most important thing to think about is what your goals are, because you’ll need to brief your agency on your goals if you want them to work towards them. Different companies have different goals on social media, from providing customer service and gaining a greater share of voice to directly selling their products.
You’ll also need to bear in mind that different agencies provide different services, with some of them doing a little bit of everything and others niching down into a specific specialism. Some of the most common services that you’ll see on offer include:
Now that you know some of the different types of agency that are out there, you’re ready to start searching for the right agency for you. There are a bunch of different criteria for you to think about here, and even when you do end up with a shortlist, you can do a lot worse than to go with the one that has the best cultural fit or with the employees that you get along with the most.
The first thing to look at is a potential agency’s track record and their history of working for clients like you. Any agency worth its salt will have a whole bunch of case studies and testimonials on their website that you can read through, and you can even contact those companies directly to ask them about their experience.
You should also take a look at the agency’s specialisms. It’s okay to go with a generalist as long as you know what you’re getting yourself into, but bear in mind that even generalists tend to have areas that they excel at and those where they’re belowaverage. You can make that work for you if your agency isn’t great at analytics but you have an analytics whizz in-house, for example.
The next step is to figure out whether a potential agency is in budget. If you can’t afford their services then it doesn’t matter how good of a fit they might be. The problem is that not many agencies publish their prices on their website, and so you can waste a lot of time sending out briefs and waiting for proposals only to find out that they’re out of your price range.
This is actually an important reminder of the need to create a decent brief, because this is what people will take away and create a response to. As well as outlining your goals and sharing any initial ideas that you might have, it’s also a good idea to share a rough budget. That way, if an agency is unable to work within those rates, you won’t waste their time (and yours) by asking them to provide a response.
One final point – and one that we can’t stress enough – is that it’s vital to set and manage expectations. This applies for both sides of the partnership. Agencies need to make sure that their clients understand what is and isn’t included, and clients need to make sure that agencies know what resources they’ll have access to and what metrics their performance will be measured on.
While doing a quick google search may yield some results, there a few issues with this approach:
There are however a few sites that we can recommend that specialize specifically in building networks of trusted social media marketing agencies and offer businesses looking for marketing agencies a really nice ways of searching for them:
Agency Vista is a network of over 46k marketing agencies. Businesses can discover, review, and connect with marketing agencies and have the confidence in knowing that they are working with trusted and reliable agencies, limiting wasted time and resources.
UpCity is a resource that helps connect businesses to service providers they can trust. It does offer a more general network of professionals but you can certainly filter and search based your needs.
Marketing Agency Network is a one-stop-shop platform that connects marketing and creative professionals to one another, whether it is a marketing manager that works at an organization looking for an SEO specialized agency, or an SMM specialist looking for a job at an agency, or a marketing summit looking to get marketing professionals to attend.
Now that you know the basics of shopping around for a social media marketing agency, it’s over to you so that you can put what you’ve learned today into practice.
Remember that the first step is to define your goals, so be sure to do that before you even start to shortlist potential agencies. With your goals and a brief in hand, you’re ready to reach out to them and to start accepting proposals.
Other than that, you’re good to go, so be sure to let us know in the comments how you get on so that we can keep the discussion going. We’ll see you soon for another article!
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